State annual meeting to combine virtual, local in-person options

Editor’s Note: The following information from the August 2020 state board meeting was shared by State Trustee Mike Videkovich, who represents Farm Bureau members in Fairfield, Hocking, Pickaway and Ross counties on the state Farm Bureau board.

Thank you for the opportunity to represent your interests on the Farm Bureau state board. I’m Mike Videkovich and Jenny Cox is your regional trustee. The board met virtually Aug. 27, and Ohio Farm Bureau has provided this recap of some of the topics and issues the board discussed as well as other items of note.

Nationwide guests included board member Sparky Weilnau; Devin Fuhrman, vice president, Sponsor Relations and Dan Durheim, associate vice president, Sponsor Relations.

2020 Annual Meeting
Due to orders from the Ohio Department of Health limiting indoor gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Ohio Farm Bureau Annual Meeting is going remote this year.

The new format will enable many Ohio Farm Bureau delegates to join together in small groups throughout Ohio and connect with other delegates around the state through a virtual platform as they vote on policies and leadership.

This year’s remote experience also will recognize the organization’s exciting accomplishments and will give even more Farm Bureau members an opportunity to take part in the programs.

“We know for so many of our members the annual meeting is much more than just a meeting. It’s a celebration of our organization,” said Adam Sharp, Ohio Farm Bureau executive vice president. “This year will be much different than our delegates and members have enjoyed over the past century, but like many things happening this year, we had to adapt to today’s challenges.”

The major components of the annual meeting, the delegate and business sessions, will take place Dec. 11, with the organization focusing on presentations of awards and recognition online earlier in the week.

“While the delegate and business sessions will be done remotely through secured systems, we will work hard to have full engagement with everyone involved through this crucial democratic process for our organization,” said Ohio Farm Bureau President Frank Burkett. “Even though this approach is not meant to be the new normal, Ohio Farm Bureau looks forward to a successful 2020 annual meeting, and our membership will be stronger on the other side of these adverse times.”

This first-of-its-kind annual meeting is free to attend and allows members to get involved as much as they choose from the comfort of their home, physically together with other delegates from their county, or while they are working on the farm.

Look for updates about the 2020 Ohio Farm Bureau Annual Meeting at ofbf.org and via Ohio Farm Bureau’s publications and social media.

New IT vision, investment
The board made a decision to make a significant new investment in information technology resources that will include staff leadership, improved systems, security provisions and website development. One of the many lessons of COVID-19 has been the importance of technology to bring staff and members together to help us continue to work for members and bring value to their membership.

Election Guide
Watch for the 12-page 2020 Ohio Farm Bureau-AGGPAC Election Guide in the Sept./Oct. Our Ohio. It has all the need-to-know information about the upcoming general election Nov. 3. Inside, readers will find out how to vote by mail or in-person, the importance of judicial elections and Farm Bureau’s “Friend of Agriculture” designations.

State policy development starts Sept. 10
Twenty Ohio Farm Bureau leaders are serving on the 2020 Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Policy Development Committee. The committee collects and organizes public policy recommendations from county Farm Bureaus and presents the final policy suggestions to be voted on by Ohio Farm Bureau’s delegates during the state annual meeting in December.

The first policy development session will take place virtually Sept. 10 and 11. The topics for discussion are broadband implementation/challenges, Farmers for a Sustainable Future/climate change, livestock processing issues/opportunities, state disaster response, state-led agriculture conservation efforts and timber/forestry issues/opportunities.

The time is now to start financial planning
Do you worry about money? Do you have a plan for retirement? Is the next generation going to be able to take on the farm? Are you protecting your family and business from unnecessary financial risk? No matter the success of your business or your stage of life, no one is immune to financial stress especially in today’s economy.

Ohio Farm Bureau Financial Essentials aims to alleviate worry through a series of free webinars developed to answer those important questions. In collaboration with Nationwide, Farm Credit Mid-America, Wright & Moore Law and others, these resources can guide your path to financial security for your family, farm and future.

Essentials in Farm Transition Planning
For farmers looking to ensure their farm is able to be transferred to the next generation. Get tips and insights on the tactics and strategies to put your plan in place. Register now for our final session Sept.14 at 7 p.m.

Essentials in Retirement Planning
Farmers often have different approaches and needs for retirement. This session will offer insight and resources to help participants prepare for the expenses of and manage their income in retirement. Register now for our final session Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.

Find additional details as well as webinars on demand at the Financial Essentials website.